Having high cholesterol is a condition that could lead to heart disease or stroke, but you won’t realize you have a potential problem unless you go for a regular cholesterol screening. Valdosta Family Medicine Associates, P.C., has a lab on-site as well as a plant-based doctor on staff to provide cholesterol checks for patients and help with making the necessary lifestyle changes to resolve your high cholesterol. Call the office in Valdosta, Georgia, today, or book an appointment online.
Cholesterol is a form of fat found in your bloodstream that your body needs to create hormones and vitamin D, and for correct digestion.
Your body can make cholesterol for itself, so you don’t need to consume any extra, but as modern diets contain high levels of cholesterol, it’s easy to end up having more than you need.
The main problem with cholesterol is that there are different types, some of which you need (good cholesterol) and others that are harmful to health (bad cholesterol).
The different types of cholesterol function in different ways. For example, high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is good cholesterol that transports cholesterol from other areas of your body back to your liver, which then disposes of it.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as bad cholesterol because, at high levels, it can cause plaque buildup in the arteries. If you eat a diet high in animal fats, dairy, fried, and processed foods, it’s likely your levels of LDL cholesterol are too high.
Insufficient exercise reduces levels of good HDL cholesterol, so if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you’re at higher risk. Being a smoker also raises your bad cholesterol.
If bad cholesterol starts to build up, it leads to the formation of plaque, a sticky substance that causes atherosclerosis, the narrowing of your arteries. Narrowed arteries are a chief cause of heart disease and could lead to serious health problems such as:
The problem with high cholesterol is that having it doesn’t cause symptoms in most people, meaning it’s only detectable using a blood test.
The team at Valdosta Family Medicine Associates, P.C., begins your treatment with conservative options, such as lifestyle changes.
Cutting out foods that contain saturated and trans fats, getting more exercise, and losing any excess weight may lower your cholesterol effectively. The team also includes a plant-based doctor who can help with dietary changes.
If needed, the team may suggest medications to help lower your high cholesterol.
To arrange a blood test to check your cholesterol levels or for help with making healthy lifestyle changes, call Valdosta Family Medicine Associates, P.C., today, or book an appointment online.